Are you a worrier? Someone once said that worrying was a lot like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but doesn’t really accomplish anything.
We understand what life is like today. Worry can literally take over our lives if we let it. Once you let your mind wander, you start to think about your retirement fund or lack of one, the bills, housekeeping chores, the kid’s math scores, the car insurance, your upcoming project and difficult boss … On and on and on it goes.
Of course, worrying to some extent is normal. Who wouldn’t worry if their child was taken to the hospital or they you suddenly were to lose their job? These are normal and very real concerns where worrying can actually help you come up with a possible solution or outcome. However, when worrying becomes incessant or chronic; when it is upsetting you daily to the point that it is either interrupting your life or making life unpleasant — such as causing headaches, irritability, or indigestion — it’s time to do something.
Worry is one of those double-edged swords that can send you to the bottom of a sea of doom or catapult you to a land of opportunity. It all depends on how you use it. Chainsaws can cut wood to build homes and keep you warm, or they can cut off your limbs! It’s all in how you use it, correct?
It’s time to stop letting worry cut off your limbs! Let’s take a look at the top five signs that you are worrying way too much!
1. You Have A Hard Time Falling Asleep
Worry can cause your thoughts to race out of control, non-stop, without giving your body a chance to rest. Most people who worry too much do not get the rest they need. Duke University researchers found that insomnia not only causes some people to become worried, anxious and depressed, but those who are worried, anxious and depressed often suffer from insomnia. When feelings of anxiety and racing, worried thoughts about the future keep you up at night, it takes a terrible toll on your overall health.
2. You Have Frequent Or Recurring Health Problems
This is because excessive worry causes inflammation. Inflammation leads to a wide variety of health problems, including sore muscles, stiff joints, a weaker immune system, and high blood pressure – just to name a few. If you find that you are sick frequently or if you have recurring problems in one particular area, chances are that your frantic, worried thoughts are the true root cause.
3. You Don’t Know The Meaning Of “Relax”
Not literally, of course; but you don’t seem to be able to relax. Although everyone goes through stressful, worrisome periods in their lives, stress can be a learning tool. When we are under stress, we are forced to make those tough decisions. This can help us learn lessons quickly and transform ourselves into better individuals. However, when stress is chronic, even very small upsets in your life can cause you to explode and overreact. This is usually a sure sign that you have turned into a chronic worrier or that you have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). About 3.1 percent of the American population suffers from this problem, so you are not alone, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
4. You Are Using Alcohol, Food, Or Drugs To Excess
If you need alcohol, drugs, or food in order to deal with your feelings of stress and anxiety, or if you use these things to distract yourself from worrying, you definitely have a problem. Suppressing how you feel with any of the above might seem like a good idea at the time, but in the long run, these things will only cause you serious harm.
5. You Are A Glass Half-Empty Kind Of Person
Our minds have developed a survival skill where we frequently scan our environment looking for threats to our safety. In our modern world, this can sometimes become a nuisance as well as an actual danger to our own mental and emotional health. For example, if your kid is outside riding his bicycle, you could imagine all the terrible things that could happen to him, but what good would this do you? Or your child? Obsessing over things that very likely will not happen robs you from the peace and happiness you could be enjoying now.
If you find yourself thinking those negative thoughts, stop and replace them with better, more positive thoughts. Rather than thinking, “Johnny is going to get hit by a car when he goes bike riding,” replace that thought with, “Now Johnny can have fun with his friends on their bikes!”
Always make time in your day for things that will bring you pleasure and relax the mind such as yoga, meditation, listening to music, or other practices that will relax you.